It figures. SI devotes an anniversary issue to the 40 most influential, inspirational and innovative sports figures of the past 40 years, but how much space does it give to the 40 least important? This one lousy page.
So with no time to waste, we proudly present, at absolutely no extra charge, the most dubious, irrelevant and annoying individuals of the last 40 years.
40. Renee Richards. Most famous changeover in tennis history.
39. LeRoy Neiman. Best-known bad painter this side of Norm on Cheers.
October 2, 1994
38. Gerry Faust. You hire a high school coach to take over the greatest college football program. How could it not work?
37. ESPN2. So herky-jerky you need Dramamine to watch it.
36. Rosie Ruiz. People laugh, but her record for the Boston Marathon still stands: 27 minutes, 36 seconds.
35. Quintin Dailey. Troubled guard was almost surely the only first-round NBA draft pick to order a hot dog from the bench.
34. Arazi. Slowest European import since Fabio.
33. Victor Kiam. Why couldn't Remington make something to shut him up.
32. LaRue Martin. First player chosen in the 1972 NBA draft-ahead of Bob McAdoo, Paul Westphal and Julius Erving—he averaged 5.3 points a game in a four-year NBA career.
31. Ickey Woods. Once a shuffling fullback phenom; now what you get when you spill a Big Gulp into your golf bag.
30. Rudy Martzke. USA Today TV columnist is a sawed-off Hedda Hopper of the 1990s.
29. Laura Baugh. Hundreds of endorsements. Zero LPGA wins.
28. Richard M. Nixon. Called plays for Washington Redskins, declared college football national champions, talked sports with Vietnam protesters, liked Checkers.
27. Eddie the Eagle. Ernie from My Three Sons grew up and decided to try Olympic ski jumping.
26. The three slobs who accidentally got up and stretched at the same time at a University of Washington football game, thus creating the dreaded Wave.
25. Jeff and Tonya Gillooly. Fun couple of the era.
24. Ken Burns. The man who managed to do the impossible—make a documentary about baseball that is longer and slower-paced than the game itself.
23. Alan Dershowitz. "Hi. This is Alan. If you're calling me, it's too late."
22. Frank Kush. He beat everybody.
21. The Stanford band. It formed a condom, a nose with a line of cocaine going up it and a spotted owl. But its members were strictly arm tacklers against Cal.
20. Ted Stepien. The former Cleveland Cavalier owner was so stupid the NBA had to draw up rules to protect owners like him from themselves.
19. Leon Lett. Look, Leon, this is the last time we're going to tell you: Never, ever, touch the football again.
18. Mark Gastineau. He shaved his body hair. He sack-danced. He walked up to a woman sportswriter naked and said, "What do you think of this?" And she said, "It looks like a penis. Only smaller."
17. Schottzie. Arrogant attitude cost her a chance to be cast as lead in Beethoven.
16. Tony Mandarich. The biggest bust this side of...
14. John Ziegler. If there was important business that needed tending to in the NHL office, this former commissioner could be found working on his tan in Saint Kitts.
13. Rudy. Coming soon: the sequel, in which Rudy gets a life.
12. Fan Man. Nobody has dropped that easily in a boxing ring since Buster Douglas.
11. Andre Ware. Won Heisman Trophy five years ago—but Ware's he now?
10. Mario Mendoza. He batted less than .200 five times in his career, creating baseball's litmus test for lousy hitting.
9. Mitch (Blood) Green. This heavyweight had his driver's license suspended 54 times. His eye broke Mike Tyson's hand outside an all-night Harlem boutique. He was twice convicted of stealing gas from service stations, once even commandeering a pump and filling up other customers' tanks. And we still like him more than we like Don King.
8. Vince McMahon. Nobody since Joan Embery has done as much with animals as the WWF czar.
7. Steve Howe. Everybody deserves a seventh chance.
6. Phyllis George. Nearly destroyed women's sportscasting, and then, as coanchor of CBS Morning News, suggested a rapist and his victim hug on national TV.
5. Chuck Wepner. The Bayonne Bleeder's chin was the step-ladder to the stars.
4. Bobby Riggs. Set the male gender back 30 years.
3. Larry Brown. He is to basketball what Liz is to marriage.
2. Marv Throneberry. The most Amazin' Met makes any unimportant list he's on.
1. Brian Bosworth (above). Hair by Sassoon, earring by Tiffany, body by Dianabol, cleat tattoo on chest by Bo.
Whaddya mean there's not going to be a TV special?